Skip to main content's Free Agency Day Live Blog

by Dave Lozo

This is's free agency blog, which will be updated throughout the day with the latest signings, rumors and information. If it has happened or is going to happen, this is the centralized location for all the big doings on the first day of free agency. The latest information will be at the top, and links to all the stories will provided as the day moves forward. Keep refreshing, as the news will be pouring in fast and furious.

Garrison signs; news and notes from end of Day 1
7/1/12 8:42 p.m.
It seemed like things were dying down after Bryan Allen's contract with Anaheim, so I thought I'd take a break, grab some dinner, perhaps watch an episode of NCIS because deep down inside I'm 74 years old and think Mark Harmon is the tops.

During this time, some stuff happened, including my Internet being as out of control as Ziva David can be and unhelpful as Ducky when he gets going on one of his tangents. But now everything is back so let's recap the last couple hours, including Jason Garrison signing a six-year deal with the Canucks with a cap hit of $4.6 million.

That's quite the hefty raise for the defenseman, who made a little more than the League minimum last season, when he bombed home 16 goals and added 17 assists in his second full season. It seems like a lot of money, but it's a pretty fair cap hit considering Dennis Wideman got nearly a million more per year from the Flames for one less season.

Another big deal involving a defenseman is Sheldon Souray agreeing to join the Ducks for three years at a reported $11 million. That's quite the haul for a player who turns 37 in two weeks and was on the scrap heap with Edmonton a year ago.

The Stars gave Souray a chance, and he overcame his injury woes in a big way. He had six goals and 15 assists in 64 games while playing more than 20 minutes per night. How he holds up is a major question, but as one esteemed writer once said, only time will tell.

Finally, the Wings brought back forward Mikael Samuelsson on a two-year deal worth a reported $3 million per season and brought the physical Jordin Tootoo to Detroit for three years at $1.9 million per season.

Samuelsson, 36, had 14 goals in 54 games between the Canucks and Panthers last season. He was a member of the Wings for four seasons and was there for the team's Cup win in 2008.

Tootoo left Nashville for a long-term deal. The 29-year-old Tootoo is known more for his grit, something the Red Wings haven't had much of in recent years.

Well, that's it for today. If anything else happens in the next three hours, we'll have it, just not in here. I know my talent and chiseled features make me seem like I'm a machine, but really I need some rest and will allow others to report the news. I hope that last sentence doesn't shatter any dreams. Take good care.

-- Dave Lozo

Parise, Suter will wait till tomorrow to decide
7/1/12 5:57 p.m.
Despite one report that Ryan Suter was on the verge of signing with the Red Wings, which he is still likely to do, both Zach Parise and Suter will wait until Monday before making a decision on their futures.

There's no shortage of teams interested in them, but each of them will likely have a shortlist of teams they're considering. Parise's list could include the Devils, Wings, Penguins, Kings and Wild, while Suter will likely ponder offers from the Wings, Flyers, Wild and Predators.

-- Dave Lozo

Allen will go to Anaheim
7/1/12 5:50 p.m.
According to TSN, defenseman Bryan Allen has signed with the Anaheim Ducks for three years at $10.5 million.

Allen is a physical force who led the Hurricanes last season with 188 blocked shots and was seventh with 111 hits. He plays about 18-20 minutes per game.

-- Dave Lozo

Leafs get McClement; Salo heads to Tampa
7/1/12 5:25 p.m.
The Leafs waited until the five o'clock hour to make their first signing, getting forward Jay McClement to agree to a two-year deal. The 29-year-old had 10 goals in 80 games with the Avs last season, but he is known for his work on the penalty kill as well as for being a quality face-off man.

In Salo, 38, the Lightning get a veteran defenseman who can help the power play. He had nine goals and 25 points in 69 games last season, with seven of the goals coming on the power play. Salo's deal is worth a reported $7.5 million over two seasons.

-- Dave Lozo

Things finally slowing a bit: latest on Parise
7/1/12 5:05 p.m.
It doesn't look like Zach Parise (or for that matter, Ryan Suter) is going to make any decision today. It appears the teams that remain in the mix are the Pens, Wings, Hurricanes, Wild and according Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times tweeted that the Kings are still in the mix.

According to Nick Kypreos, the range on contract offers for Parise (and again, Suter, is 12 years between $80 million and $90 million.

-- Dave Lozo

Ponikarovsky leaves Devils for Jets
7/1/12 4:33 p.m.
The Devils picked up Alexei Ponikarovsky during the season for a draft pick, and he had 7 goals and 11 assists in 33 games. Had just one goal and eight assists in 24 playoff games, and the Devils decided not to bring him back.

The Jets swooped in and gave the winger a one-year, $1.8 million contract Sunday. Ponikarovsky is on his sixth team (Leafs, Penguins, Kings, Hurricanes, Devils) in three seasons.

-- Dave Lozo

Parenteau gets four years from Avs
7/1/12 4:23 p.m.
PA Parenteau, who had 18 goals and 49 assists while playing alongside John Tavares with the Islanders last season, agreed to a four-year, $16 million contract with the Colorado Avalanche.

He joins a club with Matt Duchene, who went third overall in the 2009 draft after Tavares went first overall. Parenteau had 20 goals and 33 assists two seasons ago and passed on offers from the Islanders to stay with New York.

-- Dave Lozo

Avs get their d-man after all: Zanon
7/1/12 4:04 p.m.
After the whole misunderstanding/miscommunication/miscalculation/miswhatever involving Matt Carkner, the Avs signed Greg Zanon to a two-year contract. Zanon, 32, is a stay-at-home defenseman who finished last season with the Bruins.

Zanon was dealt from the Minnesota Wild at the trade deadline last season. In 449 career games, he has 12 goals and 44 assists in 449 games.

-- Dave Lozo

Prust gets payday from Canadiens
7/1/12 3:38 p.m.
Brandon Prust proved during his time with the Rangers that he wasn't just the fighter he was thought to be with the Flames. It reached the point where the Rangers decided they couldn't afford the UFA, and the Canadiens were happy to reap the benefits.

The Canadiens reportedly agreed to terms with Prust on a four-year, $10 million deal. Prust will bring an element of toughness that's been sorely lacking over the years, and he can also be an effective penalty killer and useful winger on a checking line.

The 28-year-old Prust had career bests in goals (13) and assists (16) two years ago, but regressed to 5 goals and 12 assists last season while leading the NHL in fighting majors.

-- Dave Lozo

Sens deal Foligno to Jackets for Methot
7/1/12 3:28 p.m.
Senators forward Nick Foligno was sent packing to Columbus on Sunday in exchange for defenseman Marc Methot.

The 27-year-old Methot is a native of Ottawa. He has three years and $9 million left on his contract. Methot is not known for his offense -- his best season was in 2008-09 when he had 4 goals and 13 assists in 66 games.

Foligno is a restricted free agent. The 24-year-old left wing had 15 goals and 32 assists, career bests in both categories.

-- Dave Lozo

Penner back with Kings for one year
7/1/12 3:15 p.m.
Dustin Penner, who won his second Stanley Cup last season, has come back to the Kings on a one-year deal, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

Penner had just seven goals in 65 games last season, but had three goals and eight assists during the postseason.

Penner, who hurt his back eating pancakes during the season, will turn 30 in September.

-- Dave Lozo

More signings pouring in
7/1/12 2:44 p.m.
Sorry for the little lull. I had to get lunch. I also had to reform my mass after melting while going outside, and that takes a while too. But I'm back.

In the last 20 minutes, we've had Tanner Glass agree to a deal with the Penguins, Arron Asham do the same with the Rangers, and Filip Kuba left the Senators for the Panthers for a two-year deal.

Glass give the Penguins an enforcer after spending last season with the Jets, while Asham will play the same role in replacing the departed Brandon Prust. The Panthers getting Kuba also further solidifies the end of the Jason Garrison era.

-- Dave Lozo

Islanders also pick up Carkner
7/1/12 2:17 p.m.
No, there are not two guys named Matt Carkner in the NHL. There is just the one who played for the Ottawa Senators last season, and earlier today, the Avalanche reported they agreed to a deal with Carkner. That was news to him, as that wasn't true.

It turns out Carkner will be joining the Islanders instead, agreeing to a three-year deal. We're still not sure how everything shook out, but when it was all said and done, the Isles probably made the best offer.

-- Dave Lozo

Islanders get Boyes for one year
7/1/12 2:06 p.m.
Brad Boyes, who scored 43 goals in 2007-08 and 33 goals the following season, will try to rediscover his scoring touch with the Islanders. Boyes was playing fourth-line minutes with the Sabres last season and had just 8 goals in 65 games.

-- Dave Lozo

Burish gets four years from Sharks
7/1/12 2:02 p.m.
Adam Burish, the guy you always wanted to talk to during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs when he was with the Blackhawks, has joined the Sharks for four years at a little less than $2 million per year, according to Sharks beat writer David Pollak.

The ninth-round pick -- seriously, there used to be a ninth round and he was selected in it -- is coming off a career-best 19-point season. He's an instigator, an agitator and physical player and one of the smartest guys in the League. He's a Wisconsin grad and will be a good depth player for a solid Sharks club.

-- Dave Lozo

Latendresse will dress for Ottawa
7/1/12 1:55 p.m.
Guillaume Latendresse, who scored 27 goals two seasons ago, is taking his talents to Ottawa. The forward agreed to a one-year deal with the Senators for a reported $1.125 million. Latendresse just turned 25, so a fresh start with the young Sens could be exactly what he needs.

-- Dave Lozo

Whitney going to Dallas
7/1/12 1:49 p.m.
It seemed as though there were two potential destinations for Coyotes forward Ray Whitney -- back to Phoenix or back to Carolina. Instead, a wild card presented itself, according to TSN's Aaron Ward.

The 40-year-old forward agreed to a two-year, $9 million with hte Dallas Stars, a shock to many. Whitney is coming off a sensational season with 24 goals and 53 assists. Can he keep it going at this advanced age? I don't know. It's rhetorical. According to TSN, $5 million of that deal is in bonuses, so it seems like a solid deal for the Stars.

-- Dave Lozo

Konopka, Mitchell headed to Minnesota
7/1/12 1:37 p.m.
The Wild added toughness first, getting former Senators Zenon Konopka to come to the team for two years. Konopka is a fourth-liner who would fight a bear if it messed with one of his star players. He's also useful on the PK and can win faceoffs.

Former San Jose Shark Torrey Mitchell followed right behind Konopka, agreeing to a three-year deal according to reports. Mitchell, a 27-year-old forward, had 9 goals and 10 assists last season.

-- Dave Lozo

NHL Tonight to be streamed live
7/1/12 1:27 p.m.
If you want to hunker down with your laptop and catch NHL Tonight's free agency recap show from 5-6 p.m. ET, it will be streamed live on the today.

Click here for the link to the show.

The live show is currently airing right and being streamed on right now.

-- Dave Lozo

Corvo goes back to Carolina
7/1/12 1:18 p.m.
They say you can't go home again. But they, whoever they are, never said anything about going home again and again. Defenseman Joe Corvo agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal to come back to the Hurricanes for a third time.

Corvo had 4 goals and 21 assists with the Bruins last season. The 35-year-old is likely just like us, in that it's hard to resist Carolina BBQ. The pulled pork is amazing the and the Hurricanes are also looking like a team on the rise.

-- Dave Lozo

Add Carolina to the Suter/Parise hunt
7/1/12 1:11 p.m.
At some point, we all must make offers to Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. The Hurricanes reportedly just did that, according to Chip Alexander, who covers the Hurricanes for the Raleigh News & Observer.

Look, I'm all for going for it. Let's say there's a beautiful girl in the bar. Totally out of your league. What does it hurt to take a shot at her? Chat her up. Buy her a drink. Find out about her interests. Maybe it works out. You never know unless you try.

But let's say that girl has a twin. She's exactly like her sister. At some point, you may want to accept your limitations and go for someone else. I'm not saying your efforts aren't earning my respect, but come on, man.

That being said, best of luck to the Hurricanes in all future endeavors.

-- Dave Lozo

Avalanche agree to deal with Mitchell, Carkner*
7/1/12 1 p.m.
According to capgeek, the Avalanche have about $28 million in room under the salary cap. Well, they wasted no time in climbing toward the cap floor, signing fourth-line center John Mitchell to a two-year deal. Mitchell spent last season with the Rangers.

It's not exactly a deal that is going to draw headlines, but he's a solid depth player with potential to get better. He wasn't exactly a fan or John Tortorella favorite in New York, but the change of scenery could do him some good.

Not long after the Mitchell deal, the Avs also announced a deal with former Senators defenseman Matt Carkner. The physical blueliner passed on a one-year deal with the Sens to explore free agency. Terms of the Carkner are not yet available. Two years max, though.

*Note: The Avalanche officially tweeted that Carkner agreed to a deal with the team, but it turns out that wasn't true. Carkner signed with the Islanders later in the day.

-- Dave Lozo

Coyotes, Moss agree to two-year deal
7/1/12 12:51 p.m.
Davis Moss brought his time with the Flames to an end today, coming to terms with the Coyotes on a two-year deal. Moss missed 47 games last season with a lower-body injury, but when healthy, the 30-year-old right wing can score between 10-15 goals and is a physical presence at 6-foot-4, 207 pounds.

-- Dave Lozo

Wings land Gustavsson to back up Howard
7/1/12 12:41 p.m.
The Wings signed...Parise? Suter? Of course not! They landed goalie Jonas Gustavsson, signing him to a two-year deal for a reported $1.5 million per years.

Actually, that whole "Parise? Suter?" thing makes no sense since the headline gives away the news. Whatever.

But Gustavsson never figured things out in Toronto and Winnipeg couldn't sign him after the Jets acquired his negotiating rights. As you may recall, GM Ken Holland tried to acquire Evgeni Nabokov last year to lighten Jimmy Howard's load as a starter, but hasn't had a guy who could play that role since. Whether Gustavsson is that guy remains to be seen, but he's a cheap option who could play 20-25 games if he's right.

-- Dave Lozo

Wild make pitch to Parise, Suter
7/1/12 12:31 p.m.
From the "it never hurts to ask" file, the Minnesota Wild have offered contracts to both Ryan Suter and hometown boy Zach Parise. The Wild aren't exactly on the cusp on a championship, but if they could land Parise, perhaps that could attract Suter right behind them.

It probably seems crazy, but hey, if you don't make an effort for something, you never know if you can get it. Reach for the stars, wind up in the clouds. I think that's a T-shirt. I guess in this case it's reach for the stars, wind up getting second- or third-level UFAs. Good for the Wild for trying anyway.

-- Dave Lozo

Breaking: Flyers sign Michael Leighton
7/1/12 12:18 p.m.
In a move sure to shake the foundation of the NHL and change the landscape of free agency, the first signing of the day after noon is the Flyers bringing back Michael Leighton, who helped get Philadelphia to within two victories of a Stanley Cup two years ago.

Sure, Leighton didn't play in the NHL last season and toiled in the minors, but it's news and we need to keep this thing going. Terms of the deal were not immediately available.

-- Dave Lozo

Staal gets big bucks; Clemmensen, Smyth re-sign before noon

7/1/12 11:15 a.m.
In what will likely be the final three moves before the hounds are released, Jordan Staal and Carolina agreed to a 10-year, $60 million deal; Scott Clemmensen signed a two-year deal to remain with the Panthers and Ryan Smyth will continue his role as a veteran presence with the young Oilers, agreeing to a two-year, $5 million contract.

As you may recall, Staal turned down that exact contract from the Penguins before he was dealt to the Hurricanes last week. So while many players will tell you that winning is the most important thing, it's not the only thing. Staal will have an increased role with the Hurricanes, as opposed to his role with the Penguins, which was mopping up after Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin took the ice on the top two lines.

Perhaps "mopping up" is the wrong term. After all, I don't know too many janitors who will make $60 million over the next decade. Well, perhaps Will Hunting is raking that in, but I don't think he's technically a janitor anymore.

Anyhoo, Clemmensen was one of the top goaltending UFAs out there not named Martin Brodeur. That shouldn't mean much in terms of the Roberto Luongo rumors swirling about, but the idea was that Florida would go with a Luongo/Jacob Markstrom tandem if a deal could be worked out.

And Smyth has shown he has a lot left in the tank despite his advanced age. Coach Ralph Krueger can use him to lean on as one of the few older players on a young, talented team.

-- Dave Lozo

Parise heading to free agency
7/1/12 11:15 a.m.
Well, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie, Parise has said thanks, but no thanks -- he's going to see what else is out there after rejecting the Devils' final offer to keep him in New Jersey.

There likely isn't a team that wouldn't want him in the fold, but two other teams besides the three in the previous post who can make a push today are the Senators and Kings. Ottawa showed last season it has a solid young nucleus and has been rumored to be after Rick Nash of Columbus in a trade. There's no reason to go into detail about why the Kings would work, but Parise is good friends with defenesman Matt Greene, and the two were roommates at North Dakota together.

So that should tide you over until the clock strikes noon in the east today and free agency gets under way.

-- Dave Lozo

Will Parise stay with Jersey?

7/1/12 9:20 a.m.

According to TSN's diligent reporters Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger, Zach Parise could potentially skip going to unrestricted free agency at noon today altogether. They are reporting that this summer's top UFA will let Devils GM Lou Lamoriello know before 10 a.m. ET if he will accept the team's deal or stick his toes in the UFA waters, which are sure to be filled with riches we haven't seen during free agency in quite some time. Lamoriello was in Toronto, where Parise is planning on holding his meetings with potential suitors, last night to make one final pitch.

Parise has said all along he wants to stay in New Jersey, and this decision will likely be a great indicator if he'll do just that. Of course, he could decide in the next hour that he wants to test free agency then realize that the Devils are his best option and come back to them later. If you're having a hard time grasping what Parise is going through right now, imagine he has hit a bump in the road in a long-term relationship, and his girlfriend wants him to see what else is out there but has made it clear she wants to be together forever. Parise will be speed dating at his agent's office in Toronto with teams like the Penguins, Wild and Red Wings, seeing if anyone can win his heart. In the end, he will either decide the Devils were right for him all along, or wind up with someone new. There's no bigger story out there today than Parise and where he ends up, which could be almost anywhere.

-- Dave Lozo

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